Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith offered an amendment to the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act designed to provide certain undocumented immigrants who serve in the military with permanent legal status. While the amendment was ruled out of order in committee on procedural ground, Smith pledged to continue to push the legislation.

“If an individual has been in the United States since a young age, and is committed enough to join the military, then they should be provided with the opportunity to become a permanent legal resident. It’s that simple,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith. “There is no better way for a young individual who feels a strong sense of connection to this country to become a citizen than to serve in the armed forces. My amendment will provide that opportunity and I will continue to work to attempt to overcome the procedural hurdles to this bill.”

The amendment, modeled after the ENLIST Act, would authorize the enlistment in the armed forces of undocumented immigrants who have been continuously present in the United States, were younger than 15 years of age when they initially entered the United States and are otherwise eligible for original enlistment in the armed forces.